Magnesium is a very interesting nutritional mineral and it is required for optimal growth as well as a number of vital functions in the body.
The nerves together with the muscles are demanding on the amount of accessible magnesium in order to maintain their functions in the body, and the fact is that 25-40% of the total amount of stored magnesium is found intracellular, most of it in muscle cells. The rest is stored in the bone-structure. An adult have approximately 20-30 grams of magnesium in the body.
The absorption of magnesium changes depending on the already stored amounts in the body. If the stored amounts are enough to maintain proper function for the body, and its muscle cells the absorption will decrease. And the opposite will occur in case there is deficiency of available magnesium.
Magnesium interacts in a large scale with other minerals and nutrients in the body during absorption. As an example in can be mentioned that calcium taken together with magnesium will lower the actual absorption of magnesium, and therefore it’s not recommended to eat or drink dairy products if you take supplement of magnesium to cure an eventual deficiency. The absorption will also be decreased if the intake of protein is very low.
Although there is very uncommon to have actual lack of magnesium there are a few conditions which will greatly increase the risk of a low amount. While on medication with diuretics the risk to lack the desired amounts will increase. A high consumption of alcohol will also add to the risk. During several illness-conditions such as untreated diabetes, kidney-diseases as well as malfunctions in the gastrointestinal tract the risk for lack of magnesium increases rapidly.
The risk with overdosing magnesium is pretty small, high doses may cause diarrhea but overall an overdose are associated with very small risk factors.
MAGNESIUM IN THE FOOD
Magnesium will mostly be found in green vegetables, such as peas and beans. There are also significant amounts in fish and red-meat.
Other food to add to the list may be:
All kind of beans (brown, as well as yellow)
Nuts (for example hazelnuts, almonds)
Since the risk to overdose magnesium is pretty low I would say that a supplement may be to consider if you know that you’re eating some of the mentioned foods rarely. It’s important to keep the levels of magnesium in the body to maintain proper functionality especially when it comes to muscle-functions. So better safe than sorry, if it happens your magnesium-levels already are well-stored the absorption by the body will just be decreased as a result. And a supplement isn’t that expensive.